Customer Reviews for

Palisades Park

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(10)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

I read this 422 page Nook Book in one day! I visited Palisades

I read this 422 page Nook Book in one day! I visited Palisades Park back in 1966 and just that one night's memory has instilled such a happy memory that it will never go away. I enjoyed reading about the Polish-American Stopka family and about their loyalty to Palisad...
I read this 422 page Nook Book in one day! I visited Palisades Park back in 1966 and just that one night's memory has instilled such a happy memory that it will never go away. I enjoyed reading about the Polish-American Stopka family and about their loyalty to Palisades Park with the operation of their Saratoga French Fries stand. The family also had their tribulations especially with Adele deserting her husband and two children at such a vulnerable times in their lives. The book encompasses a legacy from 1922 until 1971 when the amusement park met its unfortunate demise. The year 1944 brought on two disastrous fires - one at Luna Park in Coney Island the other at Palisades Park. While reading this book, I could feel once again the joy of going to an old-fashioned amusement park. Oh, I learned not to go swimming until June 24th.

posted by CasperAZ on April 10, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Don't recommend

Boring read. This book is not in the same league as his other books.

posted by 14337085 on May 17, 2013

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  • Posted April 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I read this 422 page Nook Book in one day! I visited Palisades

    I read this 422 page Nook Book in one day! I visited Palisades Park back in 1966 and just that one night's memory has instilled such a happy memory that it will never go away. I enjoyed reading about the Polish-American Stopka family and about their loyalty to Palisades Park with the operation of their Saratoga French Fries stand. The family also had their tribulations especially with Adele deserting her husband and two children at such a vulnerable times in their lives. The book encompasses a legacy from 1922 until 1971 when the amusement park met its unfortunate demise. The year 1944 brought on two disastrous fires - one at Luna Park in Coney Island the other at Palisades Park. While reading this book, I could feel once again the joy of going to an old-fashioned amusement park. Oh, I learned not to go swimming until June 24th.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2013

    Well researched and easy to read, this epic novel should appeal

    Well researched and easy to read, this epic novel should appeal to fans of Alan Brennert’s previous books and to those who enjoy historical fiction in the vein of Edward Rutherford and Jennifer Donnelly. Spanning a period from 1922 to 1974, the story follows the likeable Stopka family as they experience the challenges and culture of American life. Palisades Park, a New Jersey amusement park, provides a colorful backdrop for their saga.

    I believe well-written historical fiction motivates a reader to learn more about the time and place in which it’s set and Palisades Park passed my historical fiction test – I frequently paused to look up people and places as I read about them. Indeed, much fact was woven in with the fiction and I have emerged from the reading a bit wiser! Highly recommended – this would be a great vacation book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2013

    really enjoyed the lives of the stopka family and the story of p

    really enjoyed the lives of the stopka family and the story of palisades park...eddie was a much more likable character than his wife adele, and toni more interesting than her brother jack...but as a whole the book was very well written and painted a complete picture of carny/amusement park live for the visitor as well as the employees....you could hear the sound of the ferris wheel, and smell the cotton candy and french fries...lovely

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Don't recommend

    Boring read. This book is not in the same league as his other books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2014

    I do not recommend. Loved Honolulu and Molokai but this was qui

    I do not recommend. Loved Honolulu and Molokai but this was quite boring. Very disappointing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    Highly recommend it for anyone who grew up visiting the park

    I really enjoyed reading this, especially since I grew up taking the bus with my friends to the park and the pool, saw the concerts, spent many days at the pool including the day after my 8th grade graduation. And now living out of state, it was a good read down memory lane. Not only about the park but about the area as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2013

    Would not recommend - Other reviews seem to be talking about another book

    I noticed that the excerpts quoted in most of the other reviews are not about this book-there must be some mix up.

    Palisades Park-I was looking forward to this book because I went to Palisades Park as a child and also because I have really enjoyed other books by Alan Brennert. This book felt very 'flat' - did not connect or feel any empathy for the characters. I was very disappointed -a waste of my time.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Excellent read

    This is the second of Alan Brennert's books that I have read and enjoyed. Although the story centers on the daughter, Toni, the mother's voice comes through as a champion of her time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2013

    I wish I could unreservedly recommend this book, because I loved

    I wish I could unreservedly recommend this book, because I loved the story and the characters. To me, one of the marks of a good book is that you invest in the characters; you find yourself either rooting for or against them. This was certainly true for me, with all the primary characters of Palisades Park. This story spanned five decades of not only the Stopka family, but also the country. Brennert expertly navigates us through major events through the years, including two World Wars, the Great Depression and the civil rights movement, showing how ordinary people were affected and involved. I learned a lot about the life of amusement park employees, and especially enjoyed the storylines about high diving. I read this book in three days, because it was hard to put down. In fact, the only complaint I would have is the language. I'm not a prude, but I found some of the language regarding sexuality, to be crude and juvenlistic. For that reason, I will not recommend it to family and friends as I would have. Perhaps that was . is common language in a fair / carnival environment, but for me, it sullied the book. Fortunately I was prepared, as I read had a review before I purchased the book, and that reviewer had been offended by the language, as well. If you can get past that, it's a wonderful story. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    CAPTIVATING NOSTALGIA.

    “Evenings at the Stopka home, as in most homes in America, revolved around the welcoming voice of the radio—a tall, mahogany-veneer Philco console, standing solemn as a church organ in the corner, the family gathered round in secular congregation.”—page 97/423

    With his third novel, PALISADES PARK, Alan Brennert has cemented his place among the twenty-or-so of my ‘top-ten’ all time favorite storytellers. He writes, in the Author’s Notes, “This novel is a love letter to a cherished part of my childhood.”—page 414/423. It is, indeed, a love letter, a delightful and warm love story of wondrous times and places, and of days gone by.

    New Jersey is a very long way from Hawaii (the setting for Alan’s first two beautiful novels), and I’ll admit to a twinge of disappointment when I first learned that his third would be set in Bergen County, New Jersey. I should have known better. Mr. Brennert’s storytelling doesn’t disappoint. It captivates, it enthralls, it uplifts, and it brings a tear to the eye; but it never disappoints. To tens of thousands of ‘Jersey’ kids, over seven decades—myself included on at least two occasions(1)—Palisades Park was every bit of a paradise, as Hawaii could ever have been, to their imaginations.

    Thank-you, A.B., for sharing the wonder and amazement. I could smell the French Fries.

    Recommendation: Read only if you love reading terrific stories.

    “I look like Emmett Kelly!”—page 101/423

    NOOKbook from Barnes & Noble, 423 pages

    (1)P.S. In the early 1960s my brother took me on my first ever, and only, (ten-minute) helicopter ride, along the Hudson River, out of Palisades Park. We had a spectacular view of the New York City skyline. During that same visit I saw Timi Yuro, one of my favorite vocalists at the time, perform. A decade earlier, I think it was at Palisades Park that I saw an act called The Riding Lion—a roaring (albeit perhaps a bit sleepy) lion sat in the sidecar of a motorcycle and was driven up and around the vertical wall of a large wooden cylinder, closer and closer to the spectators along the rim at the top. If anyone else remembers either Timi Yuro or The Riding Lion… let me hear from you.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2013

    Boring

    Was really looking forward to another book by this author. Very dissappointed.

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  • Posted June 22, 2013

    I read this book in 2 days. Really enjoyed it & I,too kept g

    I read this book in 2 days. Really enjoyed it & I,too kept going to my computer to see some of the acts were real people [they were!]
    I'm a Jersey girl & have always lived "down the shore". Kinda wish part of my childhood included Palisades Park. So far I've read all this author's books & he's battin" a thousand!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    The worst

    I have been reading books with my book club fot ten years. This is thr poorest excuse for a book i have read in a long time. I threw it down with just a few pages to go. Ionly went that far because of my club. A toyal waste of time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Recommend reading

    Great story, especially since I am originally from Jersey, brought up a lot of child hood memories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    Great book

    Thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was interesting to hear about the history of the park and the people who worked there. The characters were all very likeable. Just a very good read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2013

    Great for someone whose "home" is still in northern NJ though living out-of-state at the present time.

    I especially enjoyed Palisades Park as it brought back many fond memories of my youth. The author used local references such as Hirams, Callahans, names of streets, areas, etc. that only a former resident would recognize. A trip to Palisades Park was a great outing for the youth of that time. i am sure that I will reread it just to bring back those old memories.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2013

    What a great book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Interesting if Palisades Park was a part of your youth and you are from the area

    Having grown up in Cliffside Park, I especially enjoyed the parts that referred to street names and the names people. I could relate to much of what he said about Palisades Amusement Park but the story itself had parts which did not find interesting and other parts which were predictable. It was an easy read and if you are familiar with the area and the park, it might be worth reading. Otherwise I would skip it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2013

    Almost from the beginning, I could smell the french fries and fe

    Almost from the beginning, I could smell the french fries and feel the gentle waves of the salt water pool. This is a must read for anyone who enjoyed Palisades Park.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    You definitely must check out this wonderful book.

    My husband, who is not necessarily a reader, finished this book in just a matter of days. He was glued to it. Having spent part of his young life in Edgewater, NJ, he was so thrilled to read the story, and learn of times and events that were way before his time!
    Both he and I, spent one summer working in the park, during our summer vacation. What a great part-time job for a high schooler!

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